[REVIEW] [LNH] The Tribulations of Kid Review #3

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Fri Sep 10 01:13:41 PDT 2010

On Thu, 9 Sep 2010 20:44:20 +0000 (UTC), Saxon Brenton wrote:

> On Wednesday 8/Sep/2010 Andrew Perron (pwerdna at gmail.com) wrote:

>> "Ah, excellent. The cloud of Chartreuse Retcon Hour Story (harmful only 
>> to title characters of review series) has passed.
> Bwahahaha!  Okay, so it's a comic nerd joke.  Still hilarious.

Naturally. <3 And one that I'll be reusing in the coming months, most

> Woot!  I get two reviews!  But that means I get subjected to twice as 
> much scrutiny. 

The eyes of the world are upon you!  Or at least the eyes of RACC.

>> "Where did Al-Qaeda Amerika originally show up? I know they were 
>> mentioned as a hypothetical in the 9/11 issue of Limp-Asparagus Lad..." 
> _Beige Midnight_ is their only actual appearance so far.  Looking back on 
> it, I realise that I was 'parasitising' Arthur's miniseries.  I've used 
> _Beige Midnight_ to advance/conclude two plots - the Al-Qaeda Amerika plot 
> (although that can be carried on elsewhere, because AA can be used as 
> a recurring franchise villain group) and the wrapup of the President 
> Hex Luthor plot.

To be fair, if there's *anywhere* to wrap up President Hex, this was it.

>> Also, am I the only one who's really 
>> skeeved out by soul-damage? This could be a whole separate rant, but 
>> suffice to say: it doesn't make sense to me, and really seems like it 
>> should be a bigger deal than it's usually made out to be."
> I think the soul damage is something I extrapolated from the mechanics 
> of the In Nomine roleplaying game.  Moreover, the theme of the soul is 
> one that I've had on the backburner from a *smegging* long time, because 
> it's an important part of the question of self-identity of Senses Lass 
> as an artificial being.  

The theme of the soul is an interesting and deep one, to be sure.  But the
thing with soul damage is, it's often treated like regular damage, only
ooo, more *impressive* and *magic-y*.  The consequences, the *implications*
of such a thing are not oft discussed.

> All that said, looking back I am a bit doubtful 
> about the way that scene was presented: it starts at first principles that 
> in a four colour comic book superhero universe all gods exist, and then 
> gets a tad preachy with the rammifications.

It was a bit preachy, ya.  But the idea was good; that someone whose powers
are couched in the viewpoint of a certain cosmology is easy to ambush from
outside their pantheon.

>> "ApocaLISP's scene feels a bit random. It reminds me of crossover chapters 
>> where characters from other parts of the crossover would show up just 
>> to remind you of what's going on over there, except, of course, that 
>> there's no other story here. Is this a set-up for some slow-boil?"
> Yes.  It was random weird sh!t dumped in because it seemed like a good idea 
> at the time.  I don't think the motivation was to use it as padding, although 
> given that I (explicitly) wanted to have the BLF overcoming a series of 
> problems in order to built up their narrative momentum to 'earn' their final 
> plot coupon (the genie lamp) that may be a matter of personal definition.
> Whatever, it does come across like a description I once read for Marvel's 
> _Secret Wars 2_: a crossover where the characters stand around like doofuses 
> when the plot lines intersect.

See, I don't think it's nearly that bad; the plots twist together well.
The ApocaLISP scene is good in a vacuum, but it makes one believe that
there's going to be more.

>> "(Tangent: If djinni are 'composed of smokeless fire', then why are they 
>> so often associated with smoke? Clouds of smoke coming out as they appear, 
>> wispy body parts trailing off...)"
> No idea.  I suspect it may be simple inconsistencies in the way different 
> parts of their mythology has accumulated.

Makes sense.  And, of course, it could just be an artifact of early
depictions in modern media.

> To summarise the situation as I understand it: even after all these 
> years I *still* have a problem trimming the amount of information I 
> put into my text.  I trim somewhat, but for a lot of the time I try 
> to work around the problem by reworking the sentences until most of 
> its in there but it reads okay because it *flows*.  (Although sometimes 
> this is not enough and no amount of rewriting is enough to keep it 
> from collapsing into a steaming pile of info dump.)  In any case this 
> often makes my writing dense and even baroque.
> With that in mind: Do you think the problem in this case is too much 
> information in the text; that the amount of information in the text 
> is okay but its straight out badly incorporated; or that the 
> information paragraphs are placed so as to disrupt the flow of the 
> story's action; or something else entirely.

Definitely the second one.  I honestly don't have a problem with the amount
of information you include in your stories - indeed, I enjoy it, I *revel*
in the worldbuilding and the detail.  In this story, it was simply
delivered in... well, I can't even call it a *clunky* manner, since it
still flows; each sentence leads to the next, as does each paragraph.  It
is, however, a very obvious manner, and one that gave the scene a more
leisurely pace than it seemed you were going for.

> I ask because I think I'm still close to the story.  I went and 
> re-read it, and was easily able to pick out a number of paragraphs 
> that have excat;y the recurring structural pattern you describe  
> (oh noes!  my writing style has fallen into predictablity, and I am 
> at risk of becoming a paraody of myself!).  But even with that done, 
> I can't see any of thpose paragraphs as reading 'badly', 'awkwardly' 
> or even 'ostentaciously wordy'.

And, again, they're not awkward; in syntax and in style, their wording is
perfectly good.  They're simply obvious examples of exposition.

> Gosh, I'm all warm-inner-glowy now.  I think the main problem with 
> originally finishing MFS was that the original second half (now billed 
> as #2) is such a downer that I couldn't get motivated to write it.  I 
> think I'll take another crack at it now.


Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, that's what I'm here for.

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